Early Investments

How To Set Yourself Up for a Wealth of Health

Investment

 If you have ever spoken with a financial planner or a life insurance salesman, you have likely been presented with a comparison of two scenarios. The first scenario typically shows an individual that began making modest contributions to a retirement account at a young age. The next scenario depicts that same individual beginning their retirement contributions 10-20 years later. When the time comes for that person to retire, the sample that made small investments earlier winds up in a MUCH better position financially with a lower overall out-of-pocket expense.

  How does this relate to your health? Stay with me here. Much like early investments in your financial security pay off in the long run, small investments in your health from an early age greatly improve the likelihood of living a long and healthy life. As we are growing and developing, we are building the framework from which we will live the rest of our days. These formative years can either set a person on the path towards a healthy and independent life or on a path towards sickness and disease. In the giant equation that is our life, each decision we make regarding our diet, activities, or habits either contributes to or detracts from our health. If you wanted to strip that statement down to its essentials: Everything we do either moves us one step closer to health or one step closer to disease. The cumulative effects of sedentary lifestyle and poor diet have been well documented in the medical literature for several generations. By eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, we can increase our likelihood of living a longer, more active life.

  One component of preventative health that often goes overlooked is the correlation between the structure of the body and its function. As a chiropractor, I concern myself with how the structure of my patients’ body is affecting their functioning. When small misalignments in the bones of the neck and back exist without correction for extended periods of time, the body’s natural regulatory functions are impaired. This can lead to decreased efficiency of body processes and subsequent breakdown of important tissues and organs. Just like a finely tuned machine, alignment and cohesive action of all the parts of the body is paramount to optimal function. By visiting a chiropractor periodically, the body can be adjusted if necessary and reduce the long-term consequences of spinal misalignments.

  The cost of most spinal surgeries today exceeds $100,000. When checking some very basic math this equates to 2000-3000 chiropractic adjustments, depending on the clinic fee. That is enough to pay for about 2 adjustments each month from birth through the first 100 years of your life! A good chiropractor can also be a wealth of information, guiding you in healthy dietary choices, proper exercise habits, injury/fall prevention, and other good health practices. A typical wellness care goal in our office is to try and get our patients to a bi-monthly or quarterly visit frequency. The younger and healthier a patient is when a they begin care greatly improves the chances of care being even less frequent. For this reason, Dr. Hannah has received additional training in techniques developed to gently and effectively adjust infant patients, giving them the greatest possible chances for a healthy life. Periodic check-ups by a chiropractor can help your family reach its optimal health potential and pay dividends in the future.

To request an appointment with Dr. Alex or Dr. Hannah, please call our Metamora, MI office at (810) 212-1200

Dr. Alex

Halloween in Moderation

Lessening The Impact Of A Treat Oriented Holiday

     Dr. Alex and Dr. Hannah had a great time serving apple cider and hotdogs to the Metamora community along side the Metamora Lions Club last night!  

     As we all wind down from Halloween and look around at the piles of candy collected by the kids, this is a great time to remember that the key to a healthy life is MODERATION! Over indulging in anything (including fun-sized Snickers) can negatively impact your health and have long term consequences. Teaching this lesson to our children early on can help set them up for good health in the future.  Be sure to place reasonable boundaries on your children (and yourselves) to make the candy last longer and give you all a better chance at a healthy November! We have heard of parents placing a 1-2 piece limit on candy packed in lunches or a 1-2 piece after dinner dessert rule. The point of these limits isn't to suck the fun out of Halloween, its to ensure your children understand that the decisions they make have a very real impact on their health.

     Looking for a way to get the candy out of the house all together? Consider checking with your local dentist offices to see if any of them offer a candy "Buy-Back" program where kids can turn in their candy for cash and the office will donate the candy to American service men and women. If this isn't available in your area, you can always consider "buying back" the candy yourself to help your child pay for that toy or game that will last them much longer than a pillowcase full of Gobstoppers ever could. This is also a great way to earn some brownie points with your coworkers as you stock to office candy dish for a couple of weeks. 

     However you decide to address the Halloween candy craze, know that the doctors and staff at Wolfe Family Chiropractic are here to help you and your family achieve you maximum health potential!

Prescriptions Playing Politely

How To Find Out If Your Medications Are Working Against Each Other

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     One of the things we like to review with our patients in the office is their current medications and supplements. This gives us important insight to their health history as well as key information regarding which of their doctors are managing/monitoring what issues. There have been many regulations and statutes implemented in recent years, aimed at improving communication between health professionals and improving the health and safety of patients. Despite these changes, there are still some gaps in the system where information is not fully shared between physicians. When your health is on the line, it is always best to make sure you are being a good self-advocate.

     If you have ever taken any form of prescribed medication or regulated supplement, you have likely seen all the warnings and disclaimers that come along with them. One VERY important thing to understand is that certain drugs and supplements can change the action or effectiveness of others quite drastically. Even some foods are discouraged when taking certain medications (ie: grapefruit with atorvastatin/Lipitor). With healthcare providers only seeing you for one small moment in time, it can be difficult to have complete and open communication. Occasionally, a situation arises where a patient fails to completely provide the prescribing doctor with a comprehensive list of all the medications, supplements, over-the-counter remedies, and homeopathic interventions they are utilizing. A less frequent, but often more dangerous, situation can occur when two different physicians unknowingly prescribe medications that have the potential for a severe interaction.

     Occasionally the recommendations for a drug will be changed due to new research or reports from doctors/patients. This information can sometimes take quite a long time to be disseminated to every physician and pharmacist. Another risk factor for serious drug interactions is using multiple pharmacies to fill different prescriptions. Pharmacists are a wonderful source of information and will often communicate to the doctor on your behalf if there are any potential red flags with a new prescription. Unfortunately, pharmacists are limited by the information they receive from the doctor and the patient. If you visit multiple pharmacies, be sure that each has a record of ALL your prescriptions in their system to help catch any potentially life threatening interactions.

     If you are taking more than one supplement or medication, you should regularly check for possible interactions to proactively avoid any negative consequences to your health. The quickest and easiest way for you to do this is to sit down and make a COMPREHENSIVE list of anything and everything you put into your body that isn’t a food. Even herbs and dietary supplements should be included in this list as they can be just as powerful as some pharmaceutical products. Next, visit a reputable source such as, Medscape’s Drug Interaction Checker or WebMD's version and enter your list. This free service will alert you if there are any potentially dangerous interactions between items on your list. Keep your list up-to-date and have a copy available at ALL doctor appointments.

     If you complete this process and find any concerning interactions, DO NOT stop taking any prescribed medications without a direct order from the physician who prescribed it. There are times when the possibility of a negative drug interaction is considered an acceptable risk when the consequences of not taking the medication are far more serious. Only the prescribing physician can explain their clinical rationale. Instead, call the doctor’s office to request an appointment and explain your concern. At your appointment, be sure to take your comprehensive list of supplements and medications with you to be confident they have the most up-to-date information. These appointments can also be a good time to ask your doctor if there are any lifestyle modifications that you can make which may eliminate the need for one or more of your current medications!

     Please note that this information is intended for educational purposed only and does not constitute medical advice.

Know Your Flow: Part Two

A Continuation of Part I 

Last week we left off talking about the importance of FLOW in the body and how disruptions in flow can lead to poor health. If you haven’t already, please be sure to read Part I before continuing on!

In addition to direct interference of the nervous system, spinal misalignments in the top of the neck can also change the flow/pressure of blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) between the brain and the body. This change in flow can result in decreased function of systems that feed the brain, remove its waste, and regulate its natural environment. These changes can alter the chemical balance within the brain and result in migraines, vertigo, mental fog, tinnitus, visual disturbances, mood changes, and potentially even some of the more complex neurological illnesses that are rampant in our society today. In addition to the chemical changes within the brain, misalignments in the top of the neck alter the position of the head on the neck, negatively impacting posture and contributing to degenerative changes in the spine over time.

There is a common analogy that is utilized by chiropractors and while it is not 100% anatomically/physiologically accurate, the general principle is very useful when attempting to illustrate the tremendous impact that changes in vital FLOW can have on our bodies. Imagine a beautiful lush garden full of every sort of plant imaginable. Now imagine a large garden hose through which all of these plants are watered every day. If you place a moderate amount of pressure with your foot upon this hose, the overall volume of water that is dispersed is decreased slightly. In a relatively short period of time, plants that are very sensitive to the new, drier conditions will begin to wither and die, followed by those which are a bit heartier. Finally, after a number of years or decades of decreased water flow, even the most robust plants will not be able to survive leaving a barren wasteland where a masterpiece of a garden once stood. However, if we were to intervene at some point, remove the pressure upon the hose and restore proper flow, the garden would begin to thrive once again and have a chance at being restored to its former glory and vibrancy.  

Chiropractors recognize the intelligent power of the body to repair damaged tissue and restore health to the individual. These processes of repair and regulation depend upon a fully functioning nervous system without any barriers to its flow and a generally healthy lifestyle. When you visit a chiropractor that understands this basic principle of health, they will assess your body and determine the location of any spinal misalignments which may be negatively impacting your health. Using some of the most advanced tools available today, the doctors at Wolfe Family Chiropractic in Metamora evaluate each person as a unique individual requiring a tailor-made approach to care depending on their specific misalignments and health history. Over time, the use of precise adjustments allows the doctors to restore proper position of the misaligned spinal vertebrae and remove interference on the patient’s nervous system flow, allowing it to function properly. When the nervous system is able to function at 100% efficiency, the result is a gradual return to health, increased function of the immune system, decreased pain, and increased vitality.

If you are ready to explore what restoration of your body’s normal and natural flow can do for your health, give us a call at: (810) 212-1200 to discuss how we can help you live a healthier life, naturally through chiropractic!

Know Your Flow: Part One

A Review Of Important Flow Patterns In The Body

     Our friends over at Merriam-Webster Dictionary define "flow" as movement “in a continuous and smooth way.” It is no wonder, then, that health practitioners commonly use this term when talking about health, something we certainly desire to be “continuous and smooth”. The average person knows enough basic anatomy to feel comfortable listening to a description of the cardiovascular system and how blood is pumped from the heart, through the arteries, to the tissues, from the tissues, into veins, and back to the heart. With just a little bit of coaching they could probably even tell you how the blood carries nutrients, removes waste, and delivers oxygen to the cells of the body. If you were to limit the FLOW of blood to an area of the body you would decrease its ability to function in a “continuous and smooth” way. Reduce or stop the flow of blood for long enough and you would deprive tissues of vital ingredients essential to their survival. 

     Blood is just one of many essential components that must flow uninhibited through our bodies in order to sustain health.  The nervous system is the master controller of ALL bodily functions. The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves which extend to every area of your body. The nervous system controls and regulates every conscious and unconscious process in the body and just like the blood that flows through our arteries and veins, the nervous system depends upon unrestricted flow of information from brain to body and back to the brain. When operating unencumbered, the nervous system is capable of meticulously balancing the chemical reactions in our body, directing the operation of our organs, dilating and constricting blood vessels, directing healing processes, integrating sensory information from the rest of the body, and so much more!

     Just like the flow of a blood vessel, the flow of information along the nervous system can be interfered with, causing impaired function and even damage to tissues if the interference is sustained for a long enough period of time. The most common way in which the nervous system is subjected to interference is through the misalignment of spinal vertebrae which applies forces to the nerves reaching out into the body. These misalignments can be present for years or decades before the effects of decreased nervous system function are felt by the individual. Imagine a spinal misalignment causing a slight decrease in the function of one part of the liver. Over the course of several years, the ability of that portion of the liver to process toxins is inhibited as a result of this interference and eventually, the body develops a toxicity leading to poor health. If left uncorrected, this imbalance within the body can lead to premature aging, damage to other organs, and a general feeling of fatigue/sickness.

Check back next week for more about FLOW and how it keeps us healthy!